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A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond.
Danny Archer: Sometimes I wonder... will God ever forgive us for what we've done to each other? Then I look around and I realize... God left this place a long time ago.
Danny Archer: I like to get kissed before I get fucked.
Maddy Bowen: Tell me where you are, and I will come help you. Danny Archer: [after seeing his blood mix in with the red earth] I'm right where I'm supposed to be...
Danny Archer: In America, it's bling bling. But out here it's bling bang.
Danny Archer: T.I.A. This is Africa.
Captain Poison: You think I'm a demon, but that's only because I have lived in Hell.
Colonel Coetzee: This red earth, it's in our skin. The Shona say the colour comes from all the blood that's been spilled fighting over the land. This is home. You'll never leave Africa.
Danny Archer: So you think because your intentions are good, they'll spare you, huh? Benjamin Kapanay: My heart always told me that people are inherently good. My experience suggests otherwise. But what about you, Mr. Archer? In your long career as a journalist, would you say that people are mostly good? Danny Archer: No. I'd say they're just people. Benjamin Kapanay: Exactly. It is what they do that makes them good or bad. A moment of love, even in a bad man, can give meaning to a life. None of us knows whose path will lead us to God.
Danny Archer: So you're a fisherman, ha? What do you catch mostly? Solomon Vandy: Fish.
Maddy Bowen: Smuggler? Danny Archer: How about 'Soldier of Fortune'... or is that too much of a cliché?
M'Ed: This my country, man. We here long 'fore you came - long after you gone.
Commander Zero: You get something for me? Danny Archer: And yourself get something for me, huh? Commander Zero: You bring the plane come first. Danny Archer: Are you craze? You get to pay me first for them. [Commander Zero hands Danny a small bag of diamonds, Danny checks its content] Danny Archer: This no fine, huh? This no fine. Commander Zero: This no more you get! Danny Archer: Then your boys then can use one ol' rotten AK them against them government troops and their new weapons them, huh? Commander Zero: Maybe I could just kill you and take away what you bring back! Danny Archer: Then you get one more dead body instead of aeroplane way full with grenade launchers. So I think I go to them government then, huh? Them government, at least them go pay me, huh? Commander Zero: Wait, wait. Wait, my friend. This is the thing you want? Here. [Commander Zero pours diamonds from a can in Danny's hands] Commander Zero: So many I not know what do with them all. - Hey, Archer, next time, you bring satellite TV, eh? I wanna see Baywatch. Danny Archer: Ja. Ja, ja.
Solomon Vandy: Dia, What are you doing? Dia! Look at me, look at me. What are you doing? You are Dia Vendy, of the proud Mende tribe. You are a good boy who loves soccer and school. Your mother loves you so much. She waits by the fire making plantains, and red palm oil stew with your sister N'Yanda and the new baby. The cows wait for you. And Babu, the wild dog who minds no one but you. I know they made you do bad things, but you are not a bad boy. I am your father who loves you. And you will come home with me and be my son again.
Danny Archer: Let me tell you something. You sell blood diamonds too. Maddy Bowen: Really? Danny Archer: Yeah. Maddy Bowen: Tell me, how is that? Danny Archer: Who do you think buys the stones that I bring out? Dreamy American girls who all want a storybook wedding and a big, shiny rock like the ones in the advertisements of your politically-correct magazines. So, please, don't come here and make judgments on me, all right?
Maddy Bowen: The people back home wouldn't buy a ring if they knew it cost someone else their hand.
Solomon Vandy: I understand White people want our diamonds, yes. But how can my own people do this to each other?
[about her article about the war] Solomon Vandy: So when people in your country read it, they will come help, yes? Maddy Bowen: Probably not.
Maddy Bowen: The entire country's at war. Why should I help this one person? [pause] Maddy Bowen: I can't believe I just said that.
Danny Archer: Without me you're just another black man in Africa.
[first title card] Title card: Sierra Leone, 1999 Title card: Civil war rages for control of the diamond fields. Title card: Thousands have died and millions have become refugees. Title card: None of whom has ever seen a diamond.
Solomon Vandy: [out of breath] He is my son. I am his father. I must go find him. Go ahead, shoot me if you want, but I will go find him.
Danny Archer: You risk my life like that again... and I'll peel your face back off your head. You understand?
[to Maddy Bowen] Danny Archer: You come here with your laptop computers, your malaria medicine and you little bottles of hand sanitizer and think you can change the outcome, huh?
Maddy Bowen: The world is falling apart and all we hear about is blowjob-gate. Danny Archer: When was the last time the world wasn't falling apart, huh? Maddy Bowen: Uh, a cynic. Why don't you sit down and make me miserable?
Maddy Bowen: My dad came home from the war in '69. It took him about... twenty years to get right. Danny Archer: [Scoffs bitterly, Maddy looks at him questioningly] You Americans - you Americans love to talk about your feelings, huh? So, what does that mean? What? You've got a thing for messed up vets now? Maddy Bowen: [Angrily] Shut up. [They stare at each other] Maddy Bowen: You lost both your parents. Danny Archer: That's a - That's a polite way of putting it, ja. Mum was raped and shot and um... Dad was decapitated and hung from a hook in the barn. I was nine [leans back, scrunches his eyes, then laughs] Danny Archer: . Boo-hoo, right? [Maddy stares] Danny Archer: Sometimes I wonder, will God ever forgive us for what we've done to each other? Then I look around and I realize... God left this place a long time ago. [Leans forward, emotional, voice breaking] Danny Archer: It's uh... Ah, What's the point, huh? [Puts his head in his hands] Maddy Bowen: [Maddy reaches forward and takes his hand. He looks up, and they stare at each other, their hands entwined]
[last lines] Ambassador Walker: The Third World is not a world apart... and the witness you will hear today speaks on its behalf. Let us hear the voice of that world. Let us learn from that voice... and let us ignore it no more. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Solomon Vandy.
[first lines] Solomon Vandy: Dia. Dia. Don't want to be late. Dia Vandy: English boys don't go to school every day.
Danny Archer: That diamond is my ticket out of this God forsaken continent.
Danny Archer: So, don't tell me you're here to make a difference, huh? Maddy Bowen: And you're here to make a buck? Danny Archer: I'm here for lack of a better idea. Maddy Bowen: That's a shame.
Captain Poison: Young man, young man, listen to me. The gov'mint wants you to vote. They say "the future is in your hands." We now the future. So we take your hands! No more hands, no more voting!
Maddy Bowen: You lost both your parents. Danny Archer: That's a polite way of putting it, ja. Mum was raped and shot and uh... Dad was decapitated and hung from a hook in the barn. I was nine... boo-hoo right?
Solomon Vandy: I thought you would steal it from me. Danny Archer: Yeah, yeah, it occured to me, huh?
[as they were encountering some child soldiers while driving] Danny Archer: Drive right at them, they'll panic. Benjamin Kapanay: No, do you know where the word "infantry" comes from, it means: Child Soldier. They're just children.
Solomon Vandy: I will find you... If it takes my life.
Prostitute: I'm safe, huh. No HIV. Danny Archer: Ja, ja. I've heard that one before.
Soldier: Archer! You're a dead man! Danny Archer: Ja, ja.
Danny Archer: American, huh? Maddy Bowen: Guilty. Danny Archer: Well, Americans usually are. Maddy Bowen: ...Says the white South African? Danny Archer: Ts ts ts ts. I'm from Rhodesia! Maddy Bowen: We say Zimbabwe now, don't we? Danny Archer: Do we? Maddy Bowen: Last time I checked.
Danny Archer: That makes us partners. Solomon Vandy: I am not your partner!
Danny Archer: Out here, people kill each other as a way of life. It's always been like that.
[last title card] Title card: In January 2003, forty nations signed "The Kimberley Process" - an effort to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. Title card: But illegal diamonds are still finding their way to market. It is up to the consumer to insist that a diamond is conflict-free. Title card: Sierra Leone is at peace. Title card: There are still 200,000 child soldiers in Africa.
Soldier: [Before chopping off the hand of a man] Short sleeve or long sleeve?
Soldier: Hello, hello, hello, hello! [walks over to Danny] Soldier: Papers, please. Danny Archer: Danny Archer. National Geographic. [hands officer documents] Soldier: You're crossing into Liberia. Danny Archer: Uh-I've got a letter from the Minister of Interior, and a Liberian visa as well. I'm doing a story on the "Maraquez" [takes out smokes] Danny Archer: , who as you know, are allowed to cross the border in order to get into the grazing grounds. You ever, read National Geographic huh? [takes one, and offers a smoke] Danny Archer: [Officer, taking the whole packet, gives back documents, takes out knife, and inspects the goats. After a while, finds diamonds sewn into the back of a goat] Soldier: [takes the diamons, walks back to Danny] You are under arrest... for smuggling. Danny Archer: No, no, listen here my friend, listen here all right. I'm good friends with Colonel Coetzee, Colonel Coetzee would not be pleased that you've interfered with his business. Now, you know who I am, all right? You don't wanna make trouble for me or my friends right? Now look, why don't I just look the other way, all right, you take one or two of those stones, you get something lekker for the wife, or maybe the mistress all right? We solve the problem right here? Soldier: [steps forward] We go back to Free Town, and ask Colonel Coetzee how he wishes to thank his business associates. [looks back] Soldier: Guys, take him away.
Maddy Bowen: Three out of five ex-boyfriends polled think I need to be in a constant state of crisis. Maybe I just give a shit.
Solomon Vandy: [trying to rescue his son] Dia, come on. Dia Vandy: Leave me alone! Solomon Vandy: Dia it is me, your father. Let's go. Dia Vandy: I don't know you! Fisherman! [to the other soldiers] Dia Vandy: Get him, get him!
Danny Archer: [appears] Don't tell me you're going to try and sell it yourself. To who, and for what price my friend? You need my help whether you like it or not. Solomon Vandy: What are you talking about? [walks away] Danny Archer: [Follows] Listen, listen. They came into this city overnight. It's started. What are you gonna do about it, huh? Look, the right stone can buy anything - safety, information, even freedom, but a big stone does not stay secret for very long. The moment you tell anyone about it, your life is absolutely worthless! The only reason you're still alive is because you haven't told anyone where it is. Am I right? Am I? [walks outside] Danny Archer: Who do you think got you out of jail, huh? That makes us partners! Solomon Vandy: I am not your partner! [Walks off] Danny Archer: What if I helped you find your family? Solomon Vandy: [turns around] What do you know of my family? Danny Archer: Relief agencies are useless, the hospitals are overwhelmed. There *are* other ways, bro. Solomon Vandy: Liar! Danny Archer: Look at me. [Takes of glasses] Danny Archer: I know people, huh? *White* people. Without me, you're just another black man in Africa, alright?
Danny Archer: Why don't we go back to your place, see what's in the mini bar? Maddy Bowen: I'm a print journalist... I drank it.
Danny Archer: [reads off Maddy's computer] "In the ninety degree heat, Solomon Vandy drops to his knees, rattling the wire with his powerful hands." [laughs lightly] Maddy Bowen: What? [Turns around aggressively, smiling an angry smile that turns into a grimace] Maddy Bowen: Do you think I'm exploiting his grief? Danny Archer: [Scoffs knowingly again] Maddy Bowen: You're right. It's shit. It's like one of those infomercials with African kids with swollen bellies and flies in their eyes. See here I've got dead mothers, I've got severed limbs, but it's *nothing* new. Sure, it might make some people cry if they read it, maybe even write a check. But it's not going to be enough to make it stop! I'm sick of writing about victims but it's all I can fucking do! Because I need names, I need dates, I need pictures, I need bank accounts. Which is to say that I need someone to go *on* record. And if that's not you, and you're not really gonna help me, and we're not really gonna screw, then why don't you get the *fuck* out of my face, and let me do my work? Danny Archer: [scoffs, grimacing] You know Solomon thinks his son will be a doctor someday? Maybe his baby dies in that camp, maybe his daughter gets raped. Who knows, maybe both. Do you realize that that diamond is his only chance of getting his family out of here... Maddy Bowen: [angrily] Danny Archer: Maddy Bowen:
Danny Archer: You're a reporter, eh? Well piss off!
Troop Leader: Here we say that the freedom is in your hands, so if you go against us, so go your hands.
Soldier: She reminds me of my wife.
Colonel Coetzee: [when Danny doesn't initially convince Solomon to tell him where the diamond is] I'm not feeling the love here, Danny.
Danny Archer: [Punches guy in stomach] That's for breaking my TV!
Danny Archer: Don't worry, we'll be fine, huh? [pause] Danny Archer: Listen, you take off, soon as I'm out the door, you don't land until I raise you on the set front. [Danny gets off the helicopter] Nabil: You be careful, Danny! Danny Archer: Don't worry, they want these guns too much to do anything stupid! [walks over to the captain, lights a cigarette] Danny Archer: Where's commander Zero? Commander Rambo: I am Captain Rambo. Danny Archer: Right. Right, I've seen your films, huh? [laughs] Danny Archer: I'm looking for Commander Zero, huh? [impatiently] Commander Rambo: He's inside. You talk to me. You are here to help us in our struggle against the governmen... Danny Archer: [tuts] I'm here to do business with Commander Zero, all right? Commander Rambo: [takes out his gun, walks over to Danny, takes his cigarette, and puffs in his face] Danny Archer: All right, you are the man, huh? You are the man.